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Max and Mona (2004)

Max Bua leaves his country life behind in hopes of becoming a doctor in Johannesburg, though the big city has different plans for him.


Teddy Mattera


Teddy Mattera (screenplay), Greg Latter (additional writing)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mpho Lovinga Mpho Lovinga ... Max Bua
Jerry Mofokeng Jerry Mofokeng ... Uncle Norman 'Bra Nox' Mogudi
Percy Matsemela Percy Matsemela ... Razor
Thumi Melamu Thumi Melamu ... Nozipho Dlamini (as Tumi Melamu)
Coco Merckel Coco Merckel ... Six (as Coco Merckle)
Seputla Sebogodi Seputla Sebogodi ... Skeel (as Seputla Sebugodi)
Craig Palm Craig Palm ... Toni September
Marcel van Heerden Marcel van Heerden ... Old Man September
Nazli George Nazli George ... Jacqueline
Job Kubatsi Job Kubatsi ... Drunk Man
Sweetie Sweetie ... Mona The Goat
Kenneth Nkosi Kenneth Nkosi ... Priest 3
Ezrom Menze Ezrom Menze ... Moeketsi Bua (as Esrom Menze)
Comfort Matsepe Comfort Matsepe ... Rowena Bua
Kenneth Nta Kenneth Nta ... Tyrone


Max Bua leaves his country life behind in hopes of becoming a doctor in Johannesburg, though the big city has different plans for him.

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South Africa | Sweden


English | Afrikaans | Zulu

Release Date:

4 March 2005 (South Africa) See more »

Also Known As:

Max i Mona See more »

Filming Locations:

Johannesburg, South Africa

Company Credits

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Did You Know?


In Memory of Lionel Ngakane 1928 - 2003. See more »

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User Reviews

A bit low-brow but well worth seeing.
19 April 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

If you are looking for a super-intellectual foreign film that you might find in the Criterion Collection, "Max and Mona" is NOT for you. It's a silly, low-brow sort of movie--but one I still recommend you see. It IS funny and gives you insight into lifestyles of the not so rich and famous.

Much of the film is set in the township of Soweto, which is near Johannesburg, South Africa. Because of that, there are a few slang or South African words I should explain to you before you see the film. I am not an expert, but I have spend about a month and a half in this fabulous country. First, Johannesburg is often called Joburg or Jozie. Second, a shebeen is like an unlicensed bar in the township. Third, a brai is a barbecue or a cook-out you have with friends. I didn't notice any other words I should explain.

The film begins in the countryside. Max is going to Johannesburg to go to medical school and his entire village has saved up for him to be able to do this. He is told that he gets in trouble to look for his uncle in Soweto...but only if he's in terrible trouble. Why you'll soon see.

When Max arrives in the big city, he's obviously a rube among a lot of tough folks. His being an outsider is obvious because he was sent to the city with a goat--a goat intended for a family member's funeral. But he cannot find these folks and the dorms won't allow him in with the goat--and he foolishly decides to contact his uncle. Foolish because his uncle turns out to be a real scoundrel--and he's planning on using Max's special skill to save himself from a nasty gangster, the Razor. What is Max's skill? He is a professional mourner--and he's able to do miraculous things when he starts crying!

The film is silly from start to finish....period. But you also get to see a lot of real 'folks' and the way they live. I loved seeing Soweto and Johannesburg, as I've spent time in both. Well worth seeing...just don't expect a sophisticated or fancy-pants film!

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